Cresta Run & Bobsleighing & Tobogganing

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Thu Sep 16 20:35:51 UTC 1999


     ROMANSH:  They hold courses in the Romansh language in St. Moritz each summer.  About 100 people attend--half locals and half linguists.  If it is spoken here, though, I didn't hear it or see it on signs.
     PAPER SWISS:  That's the confusing way the author wrote it.  I was interested because my sister is a "paper Swiss"--her father-in-law gave citizenship to his family and she got it from her husband.  It's handy to have.  U. S. citizens can get it easier than others, I guess.


   This sport is unique to St. Moritz.  It's a sled run from St. Moritz to the Village of Cresta.  The first "Grand National" was in 1885.  I'm not sure when it was called The Cresta or Cresta Run, but both of those were used by the 1890s.  There's a town statue to the sport.  Is it in the OED?
   The best book is Michael Seth-Smith's THE CRESTA RUN (1976).


   I'll have to check both of these terms in the OED, the DA, and the Making of America database when I return.  The Swiss acknowledge the American origins, but still stake some claims.  For instance, they accept that "toboggan" is American, but it took a true Swiss to go "tobogganing."
   The most interesting book is A CENTURY OF BOBSLEIGHING (Schweizerisches Sportsmuseum Basel, 1990).

Pg. 11  As the legend goes, this (St. Moritz--ed.) is where the first bobsleigh is supposed to have originated in the winter of 1888/1889.

Pg. 24 _The Origin of the Term Bob_
_A question which has thrown many a bob historian off his course_

Pg. 25  The term _bob-sled_ is known at least since as early as 1839, and hence older by half a century than its first occurrence in Swiss tobogganing circles.  (Nathaniel Parker Willis's A L'ABRI, OR THE TENT PITCH'D, but we can probably beat this--ed.)

   Perhaps I'll quote more of this whole "Bob" controversy later.  One Tad Dorgan-type story gave "Wilson Smith" the credit for inventing the bobsled in St. Moritz in 1888.  It turned out that four people were on a winning bobsled team that year--and two of them were named Wilson and Smith.

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